Laura Sharman 11 June 2015

DCLG warned to improve understanding of burdens on councils

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) needs to improve its understanding of the burden’s placed on councils’ finances, auditors are warning today.

In a new report, the National Audit Office called on the Department to use 'intelligence better' to understand the financial burdens facing local government and improve transparency when assessing new burdens.

Head of the NAO, Sir Amyas Morse said: ‘The DCLG has taken steps since November 2014 to improve its understanding of new burdens on local authorities.

‘But it needs to use intelligence from the new burdens regime to improve its understanding of the pressures affecting authorities’ financial sustainability.’

A spokesman for the DCLG rejected the claims. In a statement, the department said: ‘The Government draws intelligence from a wide range of sources across Whitehall and beyond – including bodies like the LGA, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission as well as local auditors – to fully understand the impact of new burdens on town halls.

‘Ministers also regularly meet with council leaders, councillors and council officials to discuss local governance issues.’

A second report published by the NAO today, also warns that councils are at risk of a funding shortfall for the Care Act. Visit The MJ (£) for full details.

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